Delivered on behalf of Scottish Enterprise by Workplace Innovation Europe.

Leveraging Ownership Webinar Report

Mental Health and Wellbeing at Work: 20th January 2021

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About the event

How employee ownership, co-operative models and workplace innovation enhance productivity and employee engagement.

Statistics consistently demonstrate that employee-owned businesses outperform their counterparts in terms of higher profitability, increased productivity brought about by higher levels of employee engagement and wellbeing, and greater resilience during times of recession. With an ownership stake in the business and an influence on governance, employees are more focused on the achievement of strategic goals, more likely to engage in improvement and innovation, and more receptive to positive change in the workplace. In short, employee ownership provides a powerful lever for workplace innovation, helping every type of company to achieve high performance and become an employer of choice.

During this interactive Webinar, participants were able to:

  • learn about different employee ownership options available and how they work in practice;
  • hear from Gripple, a highly successful manufacturing company committed to employee share ownership since 1994;
  • explore the world-famous Mondragon co-operative system and how it promotes workplace innovation


Ed Stubbs
Managing Director

Ed Stubbs described Gripple’s journey towards employee ownership and how it has transformed the company’s culture and working practices. Self-management at individual and team level accompanied by two-way accountability have become embedded in Gripple’s way of working, whilst high involvement innovation and improvement are central to the company’s competitive success.

Gripple Ltd is 100% employee owned and a global manufacturer of wire joining and suspension systems. Founded in 1989, turnover is now £90m, exporting to over 80 countries and with 850 employees. Ed Stubbs, Managing Director of Gripple Ltd has worked with employee owned GLIDE group for 19 years, working in Sales and Marketing for Gripple start-ups in the USA, and sister company Loadhog Ltd (UK) before moving into General Management as MD of Loadhog Ltd for 6 years and re-joining Gripple in 2015. Ed is proud to have led two employee owned businesses to recognition in two IMECH People Effectiveness and UK Best Factory awards and the British Chamber Employer of the Year award.

Juan Angel Garcia told the remarkable story of the Mondragon Corporation’s growth from its origins in the Basque Country during the 1950s to becoming the tenth largest company in Spain and the largest co-operative in the world. He explained how co-operative principles work in practice and how they have been central to Mondragon’s global success. Juan is currently Vice President of the Mondragón Corporation, and is currently also the President of the Lortek Technology Center. His professional experience is in the industrial and consumer area, with an international presence in promoting various business development and innovation projects.

Jon Prado
Senior Engineer
Lortek Technology Centre
(part of the Mondragon Corporation)

Jon Prado demonstrated how Lortek Technology Centre, a co-operative forming part of the Mondragon Corporation, helps other co-operatives to build “a new model of people management”, enhancing competitiveness “through the innovation and creativity of all working people”. Jon is a senior Engineer at Lortek with more than five years’ experience. He specialises in business organisation and innovation management, and has expertise in lean manufacturing and Industry 4.0.

Your Facilitators

Dr Peter Totterdill
Founding Director
Workplace Innovation Europe

Dr Peter Totterdill is a Founding Director of Workplace Innovation Europe CLG, a not-for-profit organisation created to help public and private sector organisations achieve enhanced performance and better working lives. A leading European expert in workplace innovation, Peter’s career has focused on building bridges between research and practice. He has led many successful innovation and change initiatives in both private and public sector organisations. Peter was previously a Research Professor at Nottingham Trent University, and has held Visiting Professorships at Kingston University London and Mykolas Romeris University Vilnius.

Rosemary Exton

Rosemary Exton
Founding Director
Workplace Innovation Europe

Rosemary Exton is a Founding Director of Workplace Innovation Europe CLG. Her experience of workplace innovation dates back to 2002, and builds on many years’ experience as a clinician, manager and trade unionist in the UK’s National Health Service where she instigated, drove and delivered many complex change and improvement initiatives. Rosemary has played key roles in several international research and development projects, whilst simultaneously delivering leadership development programmes and facilitating organisational change in diverse companies and public sector organisations across Europe.

Natalie Wilkie

Natalie Wilkie
Organisational Development Specialist
Workplace Innovation Europe

Natalie Wilkie is an organisational development specialist with Workplace Innovation Europe CLG. She focuses on building the emotional intelligence of leaders and teams in ways that make an impact at a fundamental level to the performance and engagement of people throughout the business, and is also a qualified and accredited psychotherapist. Natalie also brings particular experience of transformation, change, organisational cultures and innovation. Natalie recently worked at the Met Office, leading the Innovation Culture Team and heading up organisational development for the Transformation and Efficiency project.

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